Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
The course on "Migrations and the environment" covers one of the key areas in the LM program on “Environmental Humanities”, namely the study of social patterns of behaviour as embedded in wider global transformations, with reference to the question of climate change.
On the one side, international migrations are the effect of wider processes in political, economic, social and -indeed- environmental fields. On the other side, migrants' trajectories have an impact on their surrounding social and natural environments, in countries of origin as well of arrival, at multiple levels. It is in this perspective, that this course tackles the issue of human mobility and the transformations associated with it.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
1) illustrate the main theoretical approaches to human mobilities in relation to global transformations, including climate change
2) identify the fundamental terminology and concepts used in migration studies and use the terms correctly in context
3) describe main issues from the history of international migrations, and their economic, social and political implications, in key geographical areas
4) critically analyse current academic and policy debates on migrations, and their relationship with the external social and natural environments in which they take place.
5) capacity to select and elaborate on relevant sources (secondary literature and empirical data) in order to provide a sounded and clear discussion of the course topics
6) effectively analyse and present in English (in writing and speaking) original research results, expanding on the core issues addressed by the course
Language skills, according to the admission requirements
The course will explore the main trends in contemporary international migrations and their interconnection with wider global transformations. In so doing, it provides an overview of key notions in migration studies concerning the motivations, patterns and outcomes of people’s mobility in different geographical settings (e.g. Europe, US, Latin America and the Pacific Rim). The distinction between ‘humanitarian’ and ‘economic’ motivations for migrating will be thoroughly discussed. In this discussion, the case of mobility - directly or indirectly - motivated by the effects of climate change is paradigmatic. At the same time, we are going to consider how human mobility also affects the social and natural environments in which it takes place. Thus, we are also looking at the way international organizations (e.g. OIM, UN, ILO, GFMD) are intervening in this realm at the policy level.
Please see Detailed program available on the moodle for the full selection of Compulsory and Suggested readings.
PDF versions of the selected articles/chapters will be provided by the teacher.
The full selection of readings will be provided before the start the course and made available on the moodle page.
Moreover, for writing their papers, students will have to read ONE of the following books:
- "Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security" by Todd Miller
- "Gun island: a novel" by Amitav Gosh
- "The next great migration. The story of movement on a changing planet" by Sonia Shah
- "The four winds: a novel" by Kristin Hannah
- “The land of open graves: Living and dying on the migrant trail” by Jason De León
The final evaluation will be based on the following elements:
1) A paper to be submitted on the examination date (appello). The paper has to be maximum 15-18 pages, Times New Roman size 11, spacing 1.5. The list of references (which does not count in the page-limit) has to be at the end of the paper and follow the MLA style.
The topic of the paper has to relate to one of the issues which are part of the course program (including guest speakers' classes) and expand it through the analysis of one of the four non-academic books listed above. Please remember that your analysis needs to be embedded in one of the general theories and phenomena we discussed in class, showing that you master the state of the art literature on these topics and you can relate to the main research questions in this field of migration studies. For this reason, the main tool to analyze the chosen book will be the (Compulsory and Suggested) readings available on the Moodle. You need to show how you used them in your analysis, by quoting them in the appropriate ways.
2) The oral exam will consist of a discussion starting from the written paper, and later expanding to cover other aspects of the course program, with particular with reference to the Compulsory readings, in order to have a full assessment of the knowledge and abilities they have learned through the course. The oral examinations will start one week after the submission of the written exams. Students will receive a message from the Professor with the dates of the online sessions and the list of people scheduled for each session.
The course consists of lectures and seminars in which the main concepts will be introduced and applied to relevant phenomena, also by means of visual material (ppt presentation, videos, pictures).
All materials will be made available by the teacher in the moodle page of the course.
Students are invited to contribute with critical questions and comments to the classroom discussion.
On the basis of the latest regulations, there is no difference between students coming in person and those following online.
However, in order to be considered as 'attending' for my course you need to join at least 10 classes (online or in person). You don't need to write me to communicate your (online or in person) attendance, as I can automatically download lists with your names from the platforms.
The presentations in class scheduled for December 2021 have to be given in person, in the assigned dates
If you are in the 701 category, you are still exempt from physical attendance and you will have access to video recordings on Panopto.
My classes are very much based on personal interaction and group discussion which might be difficult to follow online. For this reason, I am strongly recommending all non-attending students, 701 students and students who attend only on-line to fix an appointment during my office hours to see whether I can suggest you some extra material to support you during your study.
CALENDAR FOR PAPERS’ SUBMISSIONS
Here the summary of the deadlines you should keep in mind when preparing for the examination for this course, depending on the exam session (appello) you want to join.
Exam session(s) Winter 2022:
Communication to the professor about the chosen book: 20 December 2021
Deadline paper: 10 January 2022
Oral examination(s): to be announced
Exam session Summer 2022:
Communication to the professor about the chosen book: 1° May 2022
Deadline paper: 30 May 2022
Oral examination: to be announced
Exam session Fall 2022:
Communication to the professor about the chosen book: 10 July 2022
Deadline paper: 22 August 2022
Oral examination: to be announced
Type of exam
written and oral
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals
This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development
Last update of the programme: 25/11/2021
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